Erynnis persius persius, is found sparsely in the northern states from southeastern Minnesota to Maine and south into the Appalachians in Virginia. Another subspecies, Erynnis persius borealis, has a more western distribution, being found from the western Dakotas and Manitoba west to Alaska and south to New Mexico and California. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2013; Shepherd, 2005), or the , also known as the , is found coast to coast in North America. The eastern subspecies,
Eyrnnis persius persius is found in areas where its larval host plant, the wild blue lupine (Lupinus perennis) occurs. This includes sandy areas within oak savannas and pine barrens. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2013; Opler, et al., 2012; Scott, 1986; Shepherd, 2005)is found in open woodlands, mountain grassland, marshes, sand plains, seeps, and alongside streams.
Hesperiidae, a type of butterfly called skippers, that is small and very dark. The wings are rounded with a wingspan of 29 to 42 mm, with a brown-black upperside and a lighter underside. The upper forewings have light markings that look grey and mottled near the tip and a row of translucent spots before the mottled grey. They have a robust body and antennae are slender with a hooked club tip. Males have dark hindleg plumes and raised white hairs on the forewing. Males also have yellow scent scales in a costal fold. Females have a more predominate mottle grey color on the tip of the forewing and larger translucent spots near the middle of the forewing, which are diminished or absent on the male. Females have a patch of scent cells on the seventh abdominal segment.is a member of the family
Eggs are pale yellow-green or pale yellow and will turn reddish.
Larvae are pale green with tiny white dots, with a dark green middorsal line and yellowish dorsal line. The head is yellowish to dark reddish brown.
Like other species of butterflies, Persius duskywings undergo complete metamorphosis. Females will lay a single egg under the host plant leaf. Once the egg hatches, the larvae (commonly known as caterpillars) will eat leaves of the host plant and live in nests of rolled or tied leaves. Full grown larvae will hibernate in shelters made of leaves and pupate in early spring or as late as July, eventually emerging as adults. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2013; Opler, et al., 2012; Scott, 1986; Shepherd, 2005)
Males perch on hilltops, low vegetation, twigs, or bare spots to wait for receptive females. Once a female passes the male, he will pursue her and both will hover near each other. The male will hover over the female until she eventually lands, and the male will continue to hover over her until he also lands and they then mate. Both males and females have scent cells on them (the male on his wings and the female on her abdomen). These likely produce pheromones and play a role in attracting mates. There is limited knowledge on the dispersal behavior of females after mating. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2013; Opler, et al., 2012; Scott, 1986)
Persius duskywings produce one brood annually with one flight season from April to June. A single egg is laid on the underside of a leaf on the host plant. (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2013; Opler, et al., 2012; Shepherd, 2005)
Females provide provisioning in the eggs, as well as lay the eggs on a host plant. This host plant will provide food for the hatched larvae. Otherwise, (Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2013; Opler, et al., 2012; Shepherd, 2005)provides no further parental care, never returning to the egg or offspring after ovipositiing.
Persius duskywings use pheromones to communicate, particularly during courtship. Males and females have scent cells, on their wings and abdomen, respectively. While there is little information available for this species, it is likely that these skippers use vision, touch, and chemoreception to gather information about their environment. (Scott, 1986)
Adults feed on nectar from a variety of plants and flowers. Historically, Salix spp., and poplar, Populus spp. However, current research shows that these are not the host plant persius duskywing are dependent on. The larval form of E. persius persius is dependent on the wild blue lupine, Lupinus perennis, as a host plant. It may also use wild indigo species, Baptisia spp. The western population of utilizes members of the pea family, Fabaceae, as a larval host plant. (Macy and Shepard, 1941; Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2013; Opler, et al., 2012; Shepherd, 2005)larvae were thought to feed primarily on various species of willow,
Predators of butterflies are typically other arthropods including spiders, ant, wasps, and some beetles. Vertebrates such as lizards, frogs, toads, rodents, and birds will also prey upon butterflies. To defend against ground predators, (Macy and Shepard, 1941; Scott, 1986)can simply fly away. Additionally, butterflies in general produce odor. Unpleasant odors can provide protection from predators.
Some butterfly species may help in pollination. Any economic importance for E. persius persius has encouraged many eastern states to conduct research on the presence and status of this subspecies. (Macy and Shepard, 1941)is not reported specifically. However, the decline in population numbers of
Larvae of some butterfly species can be a nuisance to cultivated plants through the defoliation of the leaves of those plants, though there is nothing to suggest that (Macy and Shepard, 1941)is one such species.
Erynnis persius borlealis is secure in most of its range, however, E. persius persius is vulnerable to presumed extirpated in most of its range. Persius duskywings are in severe decline across their eastern range and apparently extirpated in Ontario. Erynnis persius persius has Endangered status under state laws in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, and Ohio. It is also listed as threatened in Michigan. (NatureServe, 2013; Shepherd, 2005)
One cause for the decline of Persius duskywings is suppression of fire that has allowed for dense woodland and forest to overtake areas of open oak scrub land that they depend on for lupine growth. As areas are shaded through natural succession, lupine growth is limited and consequently E. persius persius in New England. (Shepherd, 2005; Shuey, et al., 1987)habitat is decreased. Additionally, much of their open savanna habitat has been destroyed or degraded by urban and agricultural development. Fragmentation of its habitat has also played a role in its decline. Pesticide spraying for the control of gypsy moths has also been linked to the decline of
Bridgett Winkels (author), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Robert Sorensen (editor), Minnesota State University, Mankato, Angela Miner (editor), Animal Diversity Web Staff.
living in the Nearctic biogeographic province, the northern part of the New World. This includes Greenland, the Canadian Arctic islands, and all of the North American as far south as the highlands of central Mexico.
living in landscapes dominated by human agriculture.
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
union of egg and spermatozoan
forest biomes are dominated by trees, otherwise forest biomes can vary widely in amount of precipitation and seasonality.
An animal that eats mainly plants or parts of plants.
having a body temperature that fluctuates with that of the immediate environment; having no mechanism or a poorly developed mechanism for regulating internal body temperature.
the state that some animals enter during winter in which normal physiological processes are significantly reduced, thus lowering the animal's energy requirements. The act or condition of passing winter in a torpid or resting state, typically involving the abandonment of homoiothermy in mammals.
fertilization takes place within the female's body
marshes are wetland areas often dominated by grasses and reeds.
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
an animal that mainly eats nectar from flowers
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
chemicals released into air or water that are detected by and responded to by other animals of the same species
Referring to something living or located adjacent to a waterbody (usually, but not always, a river or stream).
breeding is confined to a particular season
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
living in residential areas on the outskirts of large cities or towns.
uses touch to communicate
that region of the Earth between 23.5 degrees North and 60 degrees North (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle) and between 23.5 degrees South and 60 degrees South (between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle).
Living on the ground.
A terrestrial biome. Savannas are grasslands with scattered individual trees that do not form a closed canopy. Extensive savannas are found in parts of subtropical and tropical Africa and South America, and in Australia.
A grassland with scattered trees or scattered clumps of trees, a type of community intermediate between grassland and forest. See also Tropical savanna and grassland biome.
A terrestrial biome found in temperate latitudes (>23.5° N or S latitude). Vegetation is made up mostly of grasses, the height and species diversity of which depend largely on the amount of moisture available. Fire and grazing are important in the long-term maintenance of grasslands.
living in cities and large towns, landscapes dominated by human structures and activity.
uses sight to communicate
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Macy, R., H. Shepard. 1941. Butterflies: A handbook of the butterflies of the United States, Complete for the Region North of the Potomac and Ohio Rivers and East of Dakotas. Minneapolis: The University of Minnesota Press.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, 2013. "http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/rsg/profile.html?action=elementDetail&selectedElement=IILEP37170.(Scudder, 1863) Persius Duskywing" (On-line). Accessed March 24, 2013 at
NatureServe, 2013. "NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia" (On-line). Accessed March 26, 2013 at http://www.natureserve.org/explorer/servlet/NatureServe?sourceTemplate=tabular_report.wmt&loadTemplate=species_RptComprehensive.wmt&selectedReport=RptComprehensive.wmt&summaryView=tabular_report.wmt&elKey=118199&paging=home&save=true&startIndex=1&nextStartIndex=1&reset=false&offPageSelectedElKey=118199&offPageSelectedElType=species&offPageYesNo=true&post_processes=&radiobutton=radiobutton&selectedIndexes=118199&selectedIndexes=120580&selectedIndexes=740442&selectedIndexes=120042.
Opler, P., L. Kelly, N. Thomas. 2012. "Butterflies and Moths of North America" (On-line). Accessed March 25, 2013 at http://www.butterfliesandmoths.org/species/Erynnis-persius.
Scott, J. 1986. The Butterflies of North America. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Shepherd, M. 2005. "Skippers: Persius duskywing (Erynnis persius persius)" (On-line). The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation. Accessed March 24, 2013 at http://www.xerces.org/persius-duskywing/.
Shuey, J., J. Calhoun, D. Iftner. 1987. Butterflies that are Endangered, Threatened, and of Special Concern in Ohio. Ohio J. Sci., 87 (4):: 98-106.